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Raising Independent Thinkers

by Vanessa De Jesus Guzman
October 10th 2021

As parents we may want to protect our kids from all types of emotional pain. However, when we do that, we do not allow our kids to make mistakes with our support, which may hinder them as adults. T... More

you're listening to the free to be Mindful podcast which provides bite sized tips for busy parents, educators and anyone working with kids. These real talk conversations focus on mindful living, mental health and personal growth, helping all to learn, grow and inspire with mindfulness in mind. I'm your host, Vanessa to jesus Guzman educator licensed professional counselor, entrepreneur and mom. I'm passionate about helping folks live life with peace of mind and ease of heart while not losing their well, you know, here we go. Have you ever tried to practice meditation but have no idea if it's working or even if you're doing it right, wouldn't it be awesome if there was something to let you know when you're in the zone to let you know to do more of that? Well, there is something that does exactly that it's called muse muse is a brain sensing headband that helps you find more calm, sharper focus and better sleep.

It does this by measuring your brain waves and lets you know exactly when you're in a meditative seat. It's an awesome tool for kids and for adults alike. You can get 15% off any muse product by clicking the link in the show notes below. Check them out at choose and again, don't forget to use that link for 15% discount at checkout. Hi and welcome back to the free to be mindful podcast. I hope that you're feeling good looking good and doing better in this world than you were yesterday. So I always like to remind you that at the end of every single episode I have a very short guided meditation. It's not so much of a guided meditation and then it is of a guided reflection on mindful living. So you're not going to be sitting criss cross and owning until you float away on a cloud. But you will be asked to just reflect on things and experience a small mindful moment to allow yourself space to experience kindness and curiosity toward yourself toward life and towards others which is indeed experiencing mindfulness.

And if you're looking for more than just the short time at the end of every episode then you can always join me on Tuesday evenings at nine PM Eastern Standard time with the movement that I am a co creator of called Mindfulness with people of color where we see you because we are you We get together every Tuesday evening from 9-9 30 eastern time to build community and for a short guided meditation. If you're looking for more information you can swipe up, take a look at the show notes and visit the site below. So as I shared with you recently, I recently had a birthday and thereafter it was my son's birthday and birthdays are a pretty big celebration in my family. So my kid went to school, he was super duper excited and when I got home and I said how was your day? And he said well not so good and he told me my teacher said happy birthday to me but she didn't sing the birthday song to me. And of course at that moment I was crushed.

I felt sad because I know how important it is not only to my son, but also to all kids to get celebrated on their special day, especially in the early primary years. So of course you have two choices as appearance. One could be filled with rage and go into how dare she, why didn't she sing and make a big to do out of it in front of your child? But if we do that, we aren't really living mindfully in that moment because we're reacting instead of thinking first, then responding. I stayed quiet for a little while until I went back and forth with what would be the best option to take. And then I asked him, well what do you want to do about it? And he thought about it. And then quickly said, I want to send her a message. And I said, okay, what would you say in your message? And he didn't even tell me. He said no, let's go, let's go, let's write the message. So he knows what email is. But he had never written an email himself as an eight year old.

So he opens up email. I taught him how to find his teacher's name. I explained what the subject line was and told him that that gives her the idea of what his email is about. So by himself he wrote, I am sad, oh another crushed to the heart. So he opens up the body of the email and started poking and typing and this is exactly what he wrote. I am sad because you did not sing the birthday song to me. You sang it too blank, Blank and Blank three of his classmates in this class. But you did not sing it to me, Colin face, parentheses to make a sad face. And that was his email. I read it and I of course again for the third time in a very short time span, crushed. So I asked him, is that all you want to write? And he said yes, I didn't tell him to put anything else. Nor did I give my comments or feedback on it. And I just said okay, it sent and there it went.

So for another two hours he was pretty sad until his teacher wrote back and bless her soul for writing back at 6:00 in the evening and she wrote that she was truly sorry and she had forgotten and it was just a busy day and that she would make up for it tomorrow. And with that thought of kindness from his teacher, his spirits lifted up and in turn my spirits lifted up and we were able to enjoy the rest of his birthday evening. So the point of the story isn't to focus on the mistake the teacher made as a former second grade teacher myself, I totally get it even though it stinks for my kid. But the point of the story is it's how mindful we as parents can be when we come across sticky situations where we want to put our child in a bubble so that they would never get physically hurt, emotionally hurt, mentally hurt and we fight their battles so to speak for them. However, when we do that, we do a couple of things.

The first is we jade their thoughts and reactions because now not only do they pick up our energy, but they also pick up our thoughts and even the way in which we express ourselves and then that becomes their truth. We should want to give our kids the opportunity to live for themselves, to make up their own minds to be independent thinkers. And if we are quick to react to a situation when we do that, what we also do is not allow our kids the opportunity to try to manage situations and conflict themselves. Now, of course, conflict is a part of everyday life and they most likely have it with peers that they can have internal conflict and other types of external conflict, but any type of situation that kids may experience. Yeah, they started experiencing at a young age and it doesn't stop when they hit their teen years or when they hit young adulthood or adulthood or parenthood, it keeps going and the reason why we may be so good at handling situations is because we've had practice Think about the decisions that you make now at the age you are now may be much better choices and the decisions that you made perhaps when you were 18 and hopefully better than when you were 12 or 13 with time and experience we get better and better at handling different things.

But if we run to be helicopter parents to put our kids in a bubble so that they don't experience anything with just a slight thing of pain, then they're not going to have the skills to learn how to manage these types of situations when they get older and that isn't of any benefit to our kids. Now this isn't to say that I want my child to experience pain all the time. Of course not. And again with this whole birthday situation, it hurt my heart because I didn't want to see him upset and then I can empathize right, I put myself in his shoes and think, well I would have been upset too, but I was very careful to not say any of those thoughts out loud so that I don't exacerbate the situation in his mind and I allow him the space to handle the situation as he would like it to be handled and is that to say that our kids always make the best decisions on handling situations absolutely not their kids and they are going to make mistakes which are developmentally appropriate for the age in which they are living at that moment.

However, it is through making mistakes in which we grow, which is part of having a growth mindset. So to you, the parents, I have a couple of tips that I'd like to share of things that you can keep in mind and things that you can say when your child is going through a hard situation, so that again, they can become independent thinkers that are able to handle conflict and you can see what a great job you've done raising your kid and be comfortable in knowing that they are able to handle situations as they become young adults and older. The first is saying it's okay to be upset when my child gets upset. He often comes to me and sometimes in a not so great tone, he says, you make me so mad and if I said that to my parents, I would have gotten a very different type of reaction, but to my son, I tell him you can feel mad and it's okay to feel mad. You cannot speak to me in that tone, but you can be mad with me.

That's okay. So again, experiencing sadness and anger in any type of emotion is natural and it's actually necessary to let it out instead of holding it in and saying it's okay to be upset, will validate how our kids feel and we'll give them space to experience the situation. We do want to let our kids know though, that we're here for them. We love our kids unconditionally and it's important for them to know that we don't love them only when they're good quote unquote. It's important for them to know that we're here to support them regardless of the decisions that they make, even though we may be disappointed with your choices. So it's necessary to let our kids know the difference. The third tip is to let our kids know that feelings come and go, yes, you can feel angry and you can feel upset but anger is not going to stay with you forever. Just as happiness isn't going to stay with you forever.

It's necessary for our kids to know that just as they breathe in and they breathe out and their breath quickly comes and goes, emotions can come and go as well. Another phrase that you can use with your child is how do you want to handle the situation? So instead of jumping off and being their hero and rescuing them, we want to allow for them to do this themselves of course with our support, I like to say with us being the safety net for them. So instead of giving them all the answers, give your kids a time and space to think of alternative options. This not only builds onus and responsibility of the situation, but it helps build confidence for the next time that they find themselves in something similar. You can also ask your child, what can we learn from this. I truly believe that everything is a teachable moment sometimes for our kids and sometimes for us allow your kids to be the one to share with you what they've learned.

Sometimes we as adults like to talk a whole lot and after a while our kids just hear the lamp lamp lamp, they can charlie brown. Sometimes we need to do more listening than speaking and when we do we're listening, we can then see for ourselves if they indeed have learned the lesson that you would have lectured endlessly about and lastly teach your kids to with you, take a breath. Sometimes we need a break before dealing with big situations and taking a break or taking a breath will really allow us the space to just think before we respond so that we can make the best choices and respond appropriately instead of reacting. So I hope that those tips helped. Of course it isn't the answer to all types of situations and of course we want to make sure that we always keep our kids physically safe. But sometimes they need to take risks.

They need to make mistakes. It's a normal part of growing up and as long as we are present with our kids and we are there as your safety net. They can learn from the mistakes that they make in a safe way and become independent learners that really can live the life that they would like to live, trust yourself as a parent, that you are doing the best that you can for your kid. But also trust your kid to make important decisions as well. So right now, regardless of where you are or what you're doing, I'd like for you to recall when you were a kid, perhaps a mistake that you need not something earth shattering, but something that sticks in your mind. Where if we had a rewind button, you would go back to redo as you see yourself in your mind, think of an adult who had the conversation with you of how you can do better or how you can make the situation better and not doing it for you, but just guiding you through the process so that you can do it yourself.

And as you recall this memory without judging the memory now, think of your own child or Children important in your life and think of how you can be that supportive adults that allows them to fall when they come across something challenging. But the adults that is there to pick them back up and allows them to make important choices so that they can be fully functioning independent thinkers, trust yourself, that you're doing the best you can trust yourself that you're doing a great job raising your own child or teaching the Children whom you work with and trust that these Children will be the best versions of themselves. Have a great meat. I hope you enjoyed this week's show. It would mean a ton.

If you took this moment to review the free to be mindful podcast on the platform, you catch your favorite shows that quick and easy act, lets me know what you enjoy and it helps others find the podcast too. And of course don't forget to subscribe so you can listen along next week. In the meantime, I welcome you to catch me on social media at counselor V to jesus and as always remember in a world where you are free to be anything that you want to be, you are always free to be mindful. Catch you next week.

Raising Independent Thinkers
Raising Independent Thinkers
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